Arrived at 5am and the gates were closed. I didn't even know there were gates! In 1999 I recall starting before dawn but I guess that's not possible anymore. Headed to Upper Pumphouse for a few photos. It was 22 degrees up on the rim.... brrrrrr, however it didn't seem to bad in sandals and shorts
West Fork is West Fork, what else is there to say. I've been there a dozen times and will likely return another dozen. Autumn foliage is under way and looks to be around for at least another 5-10 days.
Granted the parking lot hasn't grown, but there must have been some serious car pooling going on cause the place was packed!
One lady mentioned seeing a pack of FIVE woodpeckers, I didn't even hear one.